Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cuneiform (Lat. for wedge-shaped), a kind of writing thought to have been practised as early as 3000 B.C., and to have been introduced into Mesopotamia and Persia, and to have been employed largely over western Asia. At first picture-writing, in which each object spoken of was represented, the signs became conventional and permanent, and underwent modification and simplification to save time and trouble on the part of the scribes. The peculiar wedge or arrow shape probably arose from the form of the instrument with which the signs were impressed upon clay, which was the usual medium employed. Different degrees of development have led to the classification into Archaic, Hieratic, Assyrian, and later Babylonian. The Persian arrow-headed writing of the time of Darius employs forty different characters.